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Wapama Falls, Yosemite National Park

4.6
#16 of 23 in Nature in Yosemite National Park
Waterfall · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Wapama Falls is the larger of two waterfalls located on the northern wall of Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. It flows almost year-round and during peak flow has been known to inundate the trail bridge crossing its base, making the falls impossible to pass. The falls consist of two primary drops angled roughly 60 degrees to each other, and a broad cascade at its base. Wapama Falls is fed by Lake Vernon, a few miles to the north, and is below Hetch Hetchy Dome.

Wapama Falls descends just under 1,100 feet. Like Yosemite Falls, it has three distinct parts. The topmost is a free drop of perhaps 300 feet, followed by a steeply-cascading stream which descends 600 feet in a steep-sided gorge, much like the stream between Upper and Lower Yosemite Fall. These cascades cannot be seen in their entirety from the trail: such a view is seen from across the Valley high on Kolana Rock. Finally, the bottom drop, seen from the dam and intimately from the trail, is one of about 200 feet down an escarpment that is not vertical, but in high water the water shoots outward to clear this descent.

Visitors can reach Wapama Falls by hiking 2.5 miles (4.0 km) up Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Trail from O'Shaughnessy Dam.
To visit Wapama Falls on your trip to Yosemite National Park, use our Yosemite National Park online sightseeing planner.
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Wapama Falls reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
69 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • You can see Wapama falls even from main Hetch Hetchy parking. But it is worth to take about 2.8 miles hike to waterfall ( round trip less than 6 miles). You'll enjoy excited views at Hetch Hetchy... 
    You can see Wapama falls even from main Hetch Hetchy parking. But it is worth to take about 2.8 miles hike to waterfall ( round trip less than 6 miles). You'll enjoy excited views at Hetch Hetchy...  more »
  • The trail to Wapama Falls is a 5.5 mi/8.8 km up-and-back hike that takes you from O’Shaughnessy Dam to Wapama Falls, the largest of two waterfalls located on the northern wall of the Hetch Hetchy... 
    The trail to Wapama Falls is a 5.5 mi/8.8 km up-and-back hike that takes you from O’Shaughnessy Dam to Wapama Falls, the largest of two waterfalls located on the northern wall of the Hetch Hetchy...  more »
Google
  • Awesome, powerful water fall’s, bring a change of cloths at this time of year. The bridge at this time of year after lots of rain can be dangerous to the old and children, go over at own risk.
  • Beautiful water fall, which is different than the view from the dam area. Start early during summer months to avoid heat through about 1 mile of no shade. Take plenty of water during summer months.

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